There has been a whole lot of speculation amongst couponers recently about Walgreens’ new points program (called Balance Rewards) that will be rolling out in less than 2 weeks.
My friend Tracie was part of their test market area last year (they tested this program in Kansas City, Portland, and Richmond) and I’ve talked to her fairly extensively about the test market. She wasn’t too thrilled with the program, and many of her readers in Kansas City just stopped shopping at Walgreens completely.
BUT, it looks like Walgreens *may* have fixed some things because there seem to be at least a few differences between the test market program and the current program that they are rolling out this month:
1. Those in the test markets last year had NO Register Reward deals in their weekly ad. They only had the points deals. In looking at the ad preview for September 16th it looks like there will be BOTH (and hopefully that will stay).
2. In the test markets, they reduced the points you could earn by the coupon amount that you used. But again, in looking at the September 16th ad scan, it does not indicate that the point values will be changed based on coupon usage. (See example below where they recommend using a coupon from the paper and the Balance Rewards amount doesn’t change).
Now one thing that is sadly NOT changing from the test market program is that you cannot earn more points if you pay with points. So if you have 5,000 points that you want to use to buy $5 worth of products. And let’s say that those products that you want to buy were advertised in their weekly ad as products where you could earn points when you buy them. If you use your 5,000 points to get $5 off your order, then you will NOT get any new points for the items that were advertised as having points this week.
So how does the Balance Rewards program work?
- You earn a certain number of points for certain purchases each week. All of them will be advertised in the weekly ad, like in the screen shot above (from the week starting September 16th).
- You can join the Walk With Walgreens program and earn 10 points for every mile that you walk.
- You can earn 500 points for each qualifying prescription that you fill in the pharmacy.
- You can earn points with certain online purchases.
Then you can redeem those points as shown in the graph below:
You can sign up for the Balance Rewards program IN-STORES starting September 16th, or you can sign up online anytime!
I would also recommend checking out the Walgreens Balance Rewards FAQ page for more answers to common questions.